Of course, we could’ve just ducked and let this one zipped right above our head. But it’s just too good to pass.
Cadbury, the British candy-maker owned by U.S. giant Kraft Foods Co., decided that nothing will be more effective to call attention to its latest chocolate bar than to compare it to a certain past-her-prime British supermodel, known equally for both the designer clothes she sports and hyper high-strung temper she displays as integral parts of her testy personality.
“Move on, Naomi, There’s a New Diva in Town” landed as a rocket at Naomi Campbell’s well-oily (and properly scared to death on a regular basis) camp. But if you think that what cleared the benches and got fashionistas running for their dear designer behinds was the fear that Campbell would throw an industrial-strength tantrum at Cadbury, because it dared to even imply that there may be someone else worthier of being called diva other than herself, you would be, well, not completely wrong, but missing the point by like just a little bit.
Because, according to that well-beaten and starve-till-you-get-it-right camp, what really made the model known for hurling with laser precision cellphones at the help utterly sad was the racial overtones implied in Cadbury’s campaing. You see, Campbell, a known advocate for racial equality and for the generous amount of time she’s spent throughout her career standing up for the rights of underpaid, deeply exploited young black models, couldn’t possibly live with such an outrageously bitter shot.
A super-sized public figure, who usually goes out of her way to hide from the public her tirelessly efforts to bring her profession to even minimal standards of fair trade and labor justice, Campbell decided that this time they went too far and is said to be considering “every option available,” since apparently Cadbury refuses to pull the ad campaign.
– “I am shocked. It’s upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful,” said the celebrated racial leader and runaway star.
So, again, if you thought the campaign was catering to the well-educated elite, who’d have no problem defining the word diva, for example, unlike say, the 26 million unemployed devils that may find themselves saving some bucks by eating a chocolate bar for lunch, on their way to yet another line to a job fair, you’re hopelessly out of fashion.
People actually love to follow closely the travails of the well oiled, and this story will certainly tip the scale. You’ll see, tomorrow some of those old devils will be in line, alright, but to buy the latest issue of People, with the front cover story about the whole shebang.
For all her wattage and power to attract paparazzi and controversy, Campbell, who allegedly hesitated before donating to charity some “dirty stones” (you may excuse her humbleness, but that’s how she calls a certain class of raw diamonds) given to her by Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, is, at heart, a deeply reserved person. She would’ve been the last, for example, to boast about those diamonds, hadn’t been for other celebrities who testified about the incident at Taylor’s war crimes tribunal at the Hague, last year.
And, still according to her well whipped and regularly scalded camp, she’s been unfairly treated by the tabloid media, which for some reason, has turned against her after having championed her figure for years to the very top of the rarefied world of supermodels, dirty diamonds and now, rancid chocolate bars. Fortunately, disgust at the ad has already prompted public complains by the campaign group Operation Black Vote (OBV), which has called for Cadbury to apologize.
Help from heavy weights of the civil rights movement such as Jesse Jackson and even Al Sharpton have been also enlisted, because in all seriousness, the epithet “chocolate bar” does have racial overtones and it’s been used throughout the years as a slur. A big corporation such as Cadbury should’ve know better. As the black activist Lee Jasper puts it, “Part of the problem is that (these companies) don’t see (such ad campaign) as offensive.”
But it’s unlike Cadbury will offer any public apology. Most likely, they’ll discreetly pull the campaign out and offer Campbell some kind of symbolic compensation. Which, we’re sure, she’ll donate immediately to some kind of reputable organization engaging in preventing and ending the exploitation of black, underage models. But, as usual, you won’t hear anything about it, because she’d prefer doing it anonymously.